Tell Me About John Crowley

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Finished book 1 of Aegypt. I got it, I thought - all the stuff about there being another history of the world, magic was once real etc, was flim-flam, smokescreen for the real inside-out message - it's not about the world but about the world within, the time when magic was real wasn't a period in history, but childhood. But at the same time I didn't get it, it seemed like reverse alchemy: turning the gold of the promised fantasy into the lead of the real, the normal, the mundane. Then I figured it out: fantasy is fake,  fool's gold; the message in the book is the real deal and all the more alluring for it. It made me remember when I was a kid and I really did live in a world where ghosts and ufos and all manner of things were real.

I've actually finished book 2 as well, I don't have as clear an idea of it but the opening section with Pierce's childhood is astonishing. 

brekekekexit collapse collapse (ledge), Saturday, 18 March 2017 18:48 (two years ago) link

argh i need to reread so bad.

Actually, after reading your post, I realized that my original encounter went like this:

buy Love & Sleep at random at some store when it had just come out in hardback, having read Little, Big a few years prior

read first 50 to 75 pages of Love & Sleep and have my mind completely fucking lit up by it

realize it's book 2 of a series, go get Aegypt at used store right away

read Aegypt and have my mind completely fucking lit up by it

go into my weird 'this book is gonna be so good I have to wait til the perfect time to start it' mode wrt Love & Sleep

[20 years pass in which I think about Aegypt constantly but do not restart Love & Sleep]

chip n dale recuse rangers (Jon not Jon), Friday, 24 March 2017 14:52 (two years ago) link

eight months pass...

the passage about The Storm in Engine Summer is one of the most beautiful attempts to mythologize our current age that I've ever read

Milton Parker, Thursday, 21 December 2017 22:22 (one year ago) link

His novel about intelligent crows is finally out. Really looking forward to getting it.

Exciting. Wish I'd written my sketchy half-baked thoughts about the Aegpyt series while they were fresh. That's right, half baked and fresh. iirc 3 was a bit of a struggle at times, 4 took a left turn away from some of the earlier ideas in favour of a tonal realism and a redemption for Pierce which, to me, felt quite satisfying. Perhaps unlikely i'll read them again but there is more than enough I only half glimpsed or half understood to justify it. Aegpyt is a big place, Mr Shadrach, a man could lose himself in Aegypt. Anyway I will catch up with all his other works at some point.

Here comes the phantom menace (ledge), Saturday, 23 December 2017 13:06 (one year ago) link

Have I really never posted in this? John Crowley is the best writer in SF.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 23 December 2017 16:03 (one year ago) link

John Crowley is the best writer in SF

This (obviously) sounds provocative, but I can't think of anyone better.

the passage about The Storm in Engine Summer is one of the most beautiful attempts to mythologize our current age that I've ever read

Yes! I just reread Engine Summer as a holiday treat. I wondered if having read it 5 years ago I remembered too much to enjoy it as much this time around, but if anything I liked it even more knowing some of what was coming.

3 was a bit of a struggle at times, 4 took a left turn away from some of the earlier ideas in favour of a tonal realism and a redemption for Pierce which, to me, felt quite satisfying

That fits my memory; my notes for 3 say " I found this really dragged for quite a while, but then suddenly I ended up reading the last 2/3rds of the book in under 48 hours", while for 4 I wrote "A real pleasure, after the relative slog of the previous volumes - breezed through it in (essentially) a day while ill, just luxuriating in it - a big payoff in enjoyment from the investment in the previous volumes, if not any big revelation in terms of content."

toby, Saturday, 30 December 2017 17:36 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

...the collapsed ruins of a rustic gazebo where once old men had gathered to play cards and checkers and talk about how bad the world had grown.

Roberto Spiralli, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 18:04 (one year ago) link

Like

as the crows around me grows (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 20 March 2018 18:12 (one year ago) link

Should be ilx description, posted over the gates.
I still agree with James B. about starting w novellas; that's still as far as I've gotten.Novelty: Four Stories, from the late 80s, is the one I read, though still want to check this-century Novelties & Souvenirs: Collected Short Fiction.

dow, Tuesday, 20 March 2018 21:39 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Ka is great.

toby, Monday, 7 May 2018 20:05 (one year ago) link

Did you see the youtube interview I posted with him in the speculative fiction thread?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 12 May 2018 15:42 (one year ago) link

Was that the geeks guide to the galaxy podcast? I'd bookmarked that from somewhere on ilx a while back and saved it for after reading the book - in fact I listened to it a couple of days ago. It was pretty interesting although a bit sad that it sounds like his books haven't been selling so well.

toby, Sunday, 13 May 2018 14:22 (one year ago) link

That's the one.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 13 May 2018 14:34 (one year ago) link

Thanks for posting it!

toby, Sunday, 13 May 2018 16:30 (one year ago) link


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